Ted Lasso Theme

Album: released as a single (2020)
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  • In 2020, it was very unusual for a TV series to have a real theme song written and performed by a name-brand artist with lyrics and an extended version suitable for airplay. After all, many shows didn't make it past their first season, and many viewers hit that "skip intro" button and never hear the theme songs (especially when binge watching). But like his character Ted Lasso, Jason Sudeikis was undeterred.

    In Ted Lasso, Sudeikis plays an American college football coach from Kansas who gets a job coaching the professional soccer team AFC Richmond in England. It's all part of a scheme by the team's owner to sabotage the club, tanking it to crush her ex-husband, who relinquished it to her in their divorce settlement (yes, this is essentially the plot of the 1989 movie Major League, and it plays out in much the same way). Sudeikis is also a producer on the show, and decided it needed a quality theme song and great score. The British composer Tom Howe was on board, and Sudeikis is friends with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, so he left him a rather lengthy voicemail asking him to work on the show with Howe. It took a while, but Mumford agreed to do it, even though he had never done this kind of composing before. He and Howe wrote the score, which they used as the basis for the intro, which they wrote in two days, adding their original lyrics.

    The show ended up being a tentpole for Apple TV and quickly renewed for a second season.
  • Mumford and Howe created a full version of this song for streaming services that runs 2:16; the version used in the opening credits on the show is just 22 seconds, with these lyrics:

    Yeah it might be all that you get
    Yeah I guess this might well be it
    But heaven knows I've tried

    It's a fitting sentiment for the main character, who is put in an impossible position but is doing everything he can to make it work. He seems to know he's destined for failure, but is willing to try anyway as long as he makes his best effort.
  • As the show is set in England, it's fitting that the Englishman Marcus Mumford sings the theme. It's also a boon because Mumford is well known in America, where most of the show's viewers reside.

    Musically, Mumford tried to split the difference between the US and UK. "We listened to a lot of Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers, and then also Creedence Clearwater Revival, as references," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "It should feel somewhere halfway between London and Kansas, where Ted's from."

    Mumford also drew inspiration from the BBC highlights show Match Of The Day.
  • Howe and Mumford wrote the them in January 2020, but then the pandemic hit, making recording the song a challenge. Howe was in Los Angeles and Mumford was back in England, so they worked virtually to complete it, with Mumford lying down various instruments from his studio.
  • Jeff Tweedy of Wilco recorded this for the season 2 soundtrack of Ted Lasso, released in 2021.

Comments: 1

  • Mavis from Upper Great LakesHas anyone else notice how much the short excerpt played over the Ted Lasso opening resembles the Gillett 'the best a man can get' jingle?
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